Consumer Protection

South Africa: Skyworth TV Is Silent Following Reported Spying Accusations

Following reports of Chinese TV maker Skyworth TVs compilation of excessive data collection with company Gozen Data which the smart TV has since cut ties with, it was discovered that Skyworth, through the home marketing company, was spying on users in China.

Skyworth TV has since apologised for the actions.

A Chinese developer forum, V2EX, which carried a network traffic analysis, said that Skyworth Smart TV sets retrieved user data and sent it to an analytics firm called Gozen Data.  According to the developer forum, the Chinese TV maker constantly scanned other connected devices on the same local network. This would occur every 10minites and compiled a series of information such as IP addresses, network latency and names of other WIFI networks within range.

Responding to the accusations, Gozen Data released a statement apologising for collecting user data without consent. It assured users that it would improve its user privacy policy to ensure that all collected information is within the scope of legal compliance.

Skyworth also released a statement saying that they have disabled the Gozen Data application across all Skyworth TV products. They also assured users that they had conducted a thorough investigation into the incident. According to Skyworth, the scope carried by Gozen Data was not approved by the organisation. Owing to which Skyworth announced its decision to terminate its contract with Gozen Data with immediate effect.

Since the announcement, a quest was initiated to determine whether the data collection had impacted Skyworth South Africa. To date, the media enquiry has yet to receive a response.

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